The What if’s

Have you ever wondered what you would do if, say your pet started choking? If your pet fell from a high place? If, your pet was hit by a car and still breathing? I hope no one or no companions ever experienced these things, but unfortunately, they do happen. I can personally attest to each of these situations, if not one of my bears, but with animals I’ve come to know through working with clients and rescues over the years.

Bernie is notorious for trying to swallow things whole. His jaw is a bit mishapened, and he developed an overbite. His overbite is precious, but it prohibits him from adequately chewing and digesting his food. I often find him working on a treat of some sort, usually the treats which take longer to chew. Then as I look up, I see him putting the whole thing in his mouth and working on covering it with his saliva. As you know, the saliva is the start of the digestion process thereby breaking down the food. Bernie is like an inpatient child licking ice cream. He doesn’t wait for his saliva to work its magic and help make the food more pliable, he goes all in. I’ve seen him put a whole pig ear in his mouth and get it all sopping wet before he tries swallowing it whole. I’ve often been worried what would I do if he started choking. I’ve often wondered what’s the protocol for a choking pet?
There is Jack. Jack loves napping and generally just lounging on the backs of couches or on some of the tallest couches. He loves a high vantage point. Every so often, Jack can sleep like no other. He can sleep like the dead. With that deep sleep comes dreams and with dreams, Jack squirms and moves. There have been a few times where he would squirm so much he would topple off the back of the couch onto the floor. I would hear a thud and I would see him scramble in getting up, but I was also scared he injured himself internally. Thankfully, he never did, but I didn’t know what to do if he fell and hit his head or injured his spine. What do I do? I often thought how ill equipped I am in knowing how to respond.

Then there is a sweet looking dog at Howl A Day Inn whose name is Benjamin. A lady brought him over to Melina to see if she can help him. It looked like the dog was hit by a car. His back legs were broken/dislocated and it seems as though he was hit by a car. Luckily for Benjamin, he was picked up by someone who in turn looked for help. I don’t know about you, but I see so many dogs in and around my neighborhood who get out of their owner’s house or fenced in yard or who are off leash and in the front yard and bolt across the street when they see something more interesting. I’ve been grateful not to have to intervene on a situation where a dog was hit by a car and I would take responsibility and intervene. I often thought, how would I handle this?

Well, the answer is found in Pet First Aid and CPR course. I urge all pet owners to take the program. I successfully completed the program through Animal Behavior College, but I believe the Red Cross offers this course and you may be able to find it at your local community college. Its a great resource and will provide you with the ways of checking for heart rate and breathing and even how to do rescue breathing and CPR for your pet who is unconcious. The course also covers how to provide first aid care for your pet if they are in shock from burns, hypothermia, heat stroke and even snake bites as you transport them to your Vet. This is vital to life information and all pet owners should know how to take the necessary steps in saving their pet’s life. 

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